Really, I've only been recording seriously for about 4 months and I'm lovin' it. It's pure luck though. I'm sure this has been rehashed here a million times but I really want to post my experience. I have the opposite problem than most. I'm so into the music, I love all the tracks...even the clams - I have to force myself to look for trouble The reality is that there's a big difference if your recording your own band (like me) or recording other people. I already know exactly the sound I'm looking for before I hit record - it's in my head. Because I'm a musician FIRST and only a wannabe "producer/engineer" my focus has always been the music and the band. I'm a HUGE gearhead - but, I'm into instruments. I have the best guitars and amps money can buy and the rest of the band is totally into the tone of their instruments. We jam and just nail the sounds we love. We eq the band as best we can using the instruments/amps themselves. The next stage was tuning the room. We heard some bad sounds and noticed some of the gear didn't sound like themselves referenced by other room we have played in. So we bought some bass traps and diffusers and pissed around like that until the band sounded good playing live in the the room. Now we do a little test recording to see how it get's represented. We listen to it, take some notes, adjust our intruments accordingly, and re-test. For eg, we just weren't happy with the snare, so we demoed about 5 snares to see which one sounded and recorded the way we imagined it should be. Then came the mic choices. We opted to get a couple of high end mics instead of a bunch of cheapos to compliment the cheapos we already had. On guitars for eg, we demoed a Sm57(of course) an MD421, a u195, a tlm 103, a tlm 127 and various cheapos we had lying around. I still have a file with 20 tracks of guitar sounds using these mics at different placements hehe. Our choices were easy - which mic captured the the original sound with the truest representation. We did the same for drums etc. When it came to pres, we knew nothin...and probably still don't - so we went for image and vibe We play rock so the Chandler TG2 seemed romantic enough so we bought that. We also bought an La-610 - cause it has tubes hehehehe and the company history was romantic as well. Turns out these pres colored our recordings a bit, but in a nice way. Kind of complimented the vintage sound we get out of our intsruments, so we were happy. Now we're ready to record for real - and we lay down tracks and everybody is looking at eachother - like WOW! We did that??? So when it came time to mix and eq etc...we were looking at eachother - hmmm what should we eq?? It sounded good already. What about compression....hmmm the drums were punching hard already cause.....the drummer just plays tight and hard and it came through. Ok forget that then. Well dammit we gotto eq somthing hehehe. So we did the obligatory HP's etc that we read here we should do...but it wasn't such a big difference because we had already decided before we tracked where the instruments should be "eq wise" in the mix and adjusted accordingly. Besides, we know dick about eq-ing and would have probably messed up anyhow. We referenced our recording against some of our favorite productions and found ours lacking slightly in presence & volume. We decided we leave that to the mastering and get that done proffessionally - it's not that expensive. Onto vocals. Now that's another can of worms. We don't have that down yet and it's going to take some practice, but what the hell - we know the songs and at this point we just let a proffesional do the vocals for us in a studio and perhaps learn something and get some advice on our mixes. There's a point somewhere that I was going to make :wink: Right...our experience has been, if your a musician focus on that strength. Get the tones out of your instruments, amps, and TECHNIQUE. This is your strong point! Our weak point is our engineering skills so we tried to take as much of that out of the equation as possible. Once we reached our limits, we looked to the pro's. Having said that, everytime you lay down new tracks you push your boundries that much further, but the better you play and sound the easier the production side will be for you.